Closing the 'Pseudogap' on Superconductivity

Mar 13, 2008

One of the biggest mysteries in studying high-temperature (Tc) superconductors - materials that conduct electrical current with no resistance below a certain transition temperature - is the origin of a gap in the energy level of the materials' electronic spectrum. Brookhaven physicist Hongbo Yang presented his latest research on this "pseudogap" on Monday at the American Physical Society meeting.

Understanding the pseudogap may help scientists understand the mechanism for high-temperature superconductivity, which in turn could lead to the strategic design of superconductors for practical applications such as high-capacity, highly efficient power transmission lines.

There are competing theories for the origin of the pseudogap. In one, the material is considered a normal metal from which superconductivity starts to emerge via the pairing of electrons. In another, the pseudogap is thought to reflect the competition between superconductivity and another condition of the material - some other "ground state."

"Our new results indicate that the first theory is clearly incorrect, these are not normal metals that simply become superconductors," said Yang.

Yang presented his results of how the gap changes at various temperatures and with various levels of doping - that is, with different amounts of various other atoms added to the material.

"The results show that the underdoped system in the normal state behaves differently from all regions of the phase diagram in the superconducting state, and point to potentially different origins for the pseudogap," he said.

Source: Brookhaven National Laboratory

Explore further: Warming up the world of superconductors

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Superfish points fingers over ad software security flaws

1 hour ago

A little-known Silicon Valley startup was caught in a firestorm of criticism this week for making software that exposed Lenovo laptop users to hackers bent on stealing personal information. But Superfish Inc. ...

Huge spring tides draw crowds to French Atlantic coast

19 hours ago

France kicked off nearly a month of exceptionally large spring tides Saturday, as tourists flocked to coastal areas to witness spectacularly high water levels ahead of the so-called "tide of the century" ...

Water in Oregon pipeline is tapped for electricity

21 hours ago

Lucid Energy has developed a renewable energy system that makes use of water moving through pipelines. The company's LucidPipe Power System converts pressure in water pipelines into electricity. They have ...

Recommended for you

New filter could advance terahertz data transmission

1 hour ago

University of Utah engineers have discovered a new approach for designing filters capable of separating different frequencies in the terahertz spectrum, the next generation of communications bandwidth that ...

The super-resolution revolution

1 hour ago

Cambridge scientists are part of a resolution revolution. Building powerful instruments that shatter the physical limits of optical microscopy, they are beginning to watch molecular processes as they happen, ...

Precision gas sensor could fit on a chip

2 hours ago

Using their expertise in silicon optics, Cornell engineers have miniaturized a light source in the elusive mid-infrared (mid-IR) spectrum, effectively squeezing the capabilities of a large, tabletop laser onto a 1-millimeter ...

A new X-ray microscope for nanoscale imaging

4 hours ago

Delivering the capability to image nanostructures and chemical reactions down to nanometer resolution requires a new class of x-ray microscope that can perform precision microscopy experiments using ultra-bright ...

New research signals big future for quantum radar

15 hours ago

A prototype quantum radar that has the potential to detect objects which are invisible to conventional systems has been developed by an international research team led by a quantum information scientist at the University ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.